Friday, February 8, 2008

"Breakfast at Bloomingdale's" by Kristen Kemp

Ever dream of breaking out of your humdrum existence here in smalltown USA in order to pursue your "real" life and perfect career elsewhere? If so, you will easily identify with Kat Zappe (not her real name), who grew up in upstate New York dreaming about the day she will escape to NYC to pursue her dream of being a successful fashion designer with her much-beloved grandmother, who is also her fashionista-partner. Unfortunately, Kat must go solo in the pursuit of her dreams after the sudden death of grandma. Her back-up plan, running away from her estranged mother with her high-school boyfriend, also comes to a screeching halt when her boyfriend bails, leaving her stranded on the side of the highway on their way to create a new life in NYC. Not to be deterred, Kat zealously pursues her short-term goals (getting to and finding a place to live in the city), medium-term goals (winning a fashion-design contest for graduating high schoolers), and long-term goals (having her own fashion line, "Breakfast," for sale at Bloomingdale's) in a manner similar to heat-seeking missile seeking its target.

Although the writing, told in Kat's first-person style, can at times seem choppy and disjointed, it is always true to Kat's love and obsession with creating fashion. You will easily join in the fun with Kat and her mates as they design, cut, sew, and drape with abandon, and as Kate learns that while it may not be easy, creating a true life for oneself is always worth the effort.

(By the way, my 14-year-old daughter LOVED this book, and made me read it when she was done. I am glad she did.)

I rate this book FOUR out of FIVE stars.

So what dreams would you like to pursue to create your "real" life?

1 comment:

Emerson said...

After reading your wonderfully written review, I initially thought, "Why would I want to read about a character who other characters find so undesireable?" I mean, she was abandaned by her mother, her grandmother (unintentionally, I must admit), and her boyfriend. It appears her own writing wants to get away from her, for crying out loud. But then I thought, "Actually, let's see what's wrong with her."